Bell Tower, photo by Carl ThorWelcome!

Welcome to the Talisman Music website! Talisman Music features the Celtic group Talisman, musician and teacher Carl Thor, and contra dance bands Hands4 and Cascade Crossing. In addition, you will find a variety of products in our web store, and information about our teaching, sound engineering and composition services, as well as events we are promoting. We also host the web site for Vancouver's monthly 2nd Friday contra dance, Contra in the Couve!

Featured events

See our Calendar for more of our events.


New See video of Carl Thor and Carolyn Cruso at a house concert in Olympia, Nov. 9, 12014.

Manzanita Morning, composed and performed by Carl Thor, is now available for download at CDBaby

See video of Carl Thor in a house concert at Lake Oswego, OR, Apr. 10, 2014.

See video of Carl Thor and Carolyn Cruso in a house concert at Oysterville, WA, Oct. 20, 2013.

See video of Talisman playing for flash mob contra dance in Vancouver, WA, Sep. 7, 2013.

See video of Cascade Crossing at the Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25, 2013.

No Caravan of Despair, new music by Carl Thor and the Talisman Digital Symphony Orchestra, is now available for download. Lush and exotic, this four part suite evokes images of desert caravans and celebrations under the starlit sky. Find it at CDBaby or the iTunes Store.

You can stream more of our music projects on our SoundCloud page. Check it out!


Jam Tunes for Hammered Dulcimer

Join Carl Thor in a monthly workshop designed to help hammered dulcimer players at any level get more out of their jamming experience. We learn commonly played tunes, then look at ways to play around with the tune, adding harmony tones, rhythmic embellishments, and backup. Workshop is $25 on a drop-in basis, the first Sunday of every month, at the Artichoke School of Music. New time! 1:30 - 3:00 pm.

Jam Tunes workshop is also presented occasionally in Olympia. Contact us for more info.

Group Piano


Contra dance in Vancouver, WA, at Contra in the Couve!, held on the second Friday of every month at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. This fine, roomy dance hall has a great (if ever so slightly sloped) wood floor and an easy-to-access location just a few blocks from I-5.
Come dance with us in Vancouver! Lesson at 7:30pm, dance at 8:00pm. More info here.

Special note for Portland contra dancers: Contra in the Couve is just 4 miles from the Interstate Bridge, and no passport or security check is required for entry into Washington state!

Featured Products in our Web Store

tune book

Dulcimer News

Spring Fling Rendezvous

It's too late now to register now for the 15th Annual Spring Fling Rendezvous hammered dulcimer festival, which will be 3 days long this year. Featured instructors, Tina Bergmann, Nick Blanton and Sam Rizetta, will be assisted by the usual staff of Northwest talents, Carolyn Cruso, Rick Fogel, Carl Thor, and Mick Doherty.
Mark your calendar: Thursday April 23 - Sunday April 26, 2015.
Visit for more information.

Portland Dulcimer Jam

The Portland Dulcimer Jam meets at rotating locations, 2-4pm on the 4th Saturday of the month.
No jam April 25 because of the SFR event.

Services offered by Talisman Music

Live Music

Recordings, Published Music and Other Products,
available through our Web Store

Composition and Arranging

Sound Engineering